Island Hopping by Emilia Plak
Constantly looking for adventure and challenge, Ozone team pilot Emilia Plak had an idea to make an over sea flight crossing from Menorca to Mallorca Island, Spain. In late September on a Saturday morning, she took off from Ciutadella in Menorca and 1,5 hours and 68 km later landed in port Alcudia of Mellorca. She flew with a Slalom 19 and was accompanied by another pilot flying the new Roadster 2 26.
“Baleares islands are a one night ferry ride away form my house. We didn’t think much about the plan. As soon as the weather looked more or less OK we took a ferry to Menorca. We had no boat following us but we were equipped with all possible safety equipment: GPS, iPhone, Agama water rescue system, life jackets, wet suit, knife, smoke system, torch and … an airbed from a Chinese shop.
“There will be plenty of boats crossing from Menorca to Mallorca during weekend” – said my friend, when we were discussing the plan. In reality there were NO boats at all! Fortunately we had an emergency contact in Mallorca. The flight went incredibly well despite the visibility that day being really bad. After only 30 minutes of flight, we had already lost Menorca from sight. We both flew with trimmers set to have a good compromise between economy and speed, and the average speed was 45 km/h. There was no need to rush. We both prefer to relax and enjoy the flight rather than flying full speed to reach the land as fast as possible. Our max altitude was 100 m and min … 1 m. Yes, I know, it was low but we both agreed this would be an over water flight with all the risk involved rather than hanging in the air too high, being cold and seeing nothing. Seeing only big blue water, huge fish, birds doing wingtip touches and your flying buddy for an hour was incredible! We did approximately 68 km in about 1,5 hour and burn only 6 lliters of fuel each. The next few days the weather conditions were not good enough to make the next crossing from Mallorca to Ibiza. We managed to make two more local flights in Mallorca and Ibiza and head back home. The next crossing adventure has to wait until my next visit.
For me this adventure was amazing but I don’t want you to think that I encourage pilots to fly over water. Flying over water with a paramotor is dangerous. If you do so, it is very important to be aware of all the risks involved and to take all possible safety equipment, wear life jacket, buy an Agama system, and to inform and ask your friends to be ready for a boat rescue mission.”
Paramotors: PAP PA125
Wings: Roadster 2 26, Slalom 19
Time of the flight: 1,5 h
Fuel used: 5 liters each
Distance flown: 68 km/h
Average speed: 45km/h
All numbers are only approximate estimations.